The Best Garden Plants for Colder Weather

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Depending on the region you live in, certain plants grow better than others. The most problematic areas to maintain a home garden usually suffer from chilly climate conditions. However, a surprising number of seeds actually thrive in the cold, making them among the best garden plants for colder weather.

How Your Zone Affects Plant Success

It’s essential to understand how your region affects yield before you start planting resilient crops in your backyard or greenhouse. The United States is divided by plant hardiness zones, determining how well a plant grows based on average temperatures. With this information, you can pick the suitable crops for your zone and worry less about their health and growth progress.

Hardy vegetables typically do the best in zones 1a to 6 (below-average winter weather). Planting these plants around the end of summer promotes better germination efficiency and leads to a bountiful harvest!


Spinach grows in below-freezing conditions, and its taste is enhanced by colder weather and frost. It’s important to add protection for these plants, especially if you want their leaves to remain vibrant and healthy. Plant your spinach seeds about two months before the first frost.


No other plant benefits from cold weather like carrots. For starters, the chilly conditions promote more sugar production within the plants. Furthermore, this sugar acts as protection for carrots in the form of natural antifreeze. This means roots will stay functional in the most extreme weather conditions. Plant these seeds about ten weeks before the first frost. (


If you’re not a fan of kale, chances are you’ve never tasted fresh, in-season leaves. When kale grows in below-freezing conditions, the bitterness changes to a sweet, tender taste. Like many of these vegetables, plan ahead of time and plant the seeds about two months before seasonal frost.


Collard plants are known to grow at temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, frost adds more flavor to collards, giving them that signature sweet taste. Plant these seeds about two months before the first frost for maximum results.

With this list of the best garden plants for colder weather, you can confidently grow a bountiful harvest and enjoy fresh veggies no matter the season!

Written by Mark Adams

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